0311-20 NY Times Crossword 11 Mar 20, Wednesday

Constructed by: Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Hot Food

Each themed answer has the same clue, i.e. “Hot food”, and is nickname for a “HOTTIE” that refers to FOOD:

  • 22A Hot food? : EYE CANDY
  • 40A Hot food? : STUDMUFFIN
  • 3D Hot food? : CUTIE PIE
  • 12D Hot food? : BEEFCAKE

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 11m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Hooded snake : COBRA

“Cobra” is the name given to a group of snakes, some of which are in different families. The term is reserved for those snakes that can expand their neck ribs to create a hood. The name “cobra” is an abbreviated form of “cobra de capello” which translates from Portuguese as “snake with hood”.

15 Part of the Dutch Caribbean : ARUBA

Aruba is one of the so-called ABC Islands located off the northern coast of Venezuela. “ABC Islands” is a name given to the three westernmost islands of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean. The nickname comes from the first letters of the island names: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. All three of the ABC Islands are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

16 Voice above tenor : ALTO

In choral music, an alto (plural “alti”) is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word “alto” describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term “contralto” describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male’s voice (not a boy’s) with the same range as an alto is called a “countertenor”.

21 Singer Ella with the 2018 Grammy-winning R&B hit “Boo’d Up” : MAI

Ella Mai is an R&B singer from England who went to high school in New York City.

25 Reason for seasonal shots : FLU

Influenza (the “flu”) is an ailment that is caused by a virus. The virus is readily inactivated by the use of soap, so washing hands and surfaces is especially helpful in containing flu outbreaks … and other viruses …

26 Biblical garden : EDEN

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

30 Takeback of a car, for short : REPO

Repossession (repo)

31 “Georgie ___” (nursery rhyme) : PORGIE

The first verse of the English nursery rhyme is:

Georgie Porgie, Pudding and Pie,
Kissed the girls and made them cry,
When the boys came out to play
Georgie Porgie ran away.

33 Costa ___ : RICA

Costa Rica is a country in Central America that is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the South. Costa Rica is remarkable in my opinion, a leader on the world stage in many areas. It has been referred to as the “greenest” country in the world, the “happiest” country in the world, and has a highly educated populace. In 1949, the country unilaterally abolished its own army … permanently!

35 Word repeatedly sung before “Born is the king of Israel” : NOEL

“The First Noel” is a traditional Christmas carol from England that probably dates back to the 1700s.

The First Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields as they lay, keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

36 Torah holders : ARKS

The Torah ark is found in a synagogue, and is the ornamental container in which the Torah scrolls are stored. The word “Torah” best translates as “teaching” or “law”, I am told.

37 TV gunslinger Wynonna, supposed descendant of Wyatt : EARP

Wyatt Earp is famous as one of the participants in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Earp was a city policeman in Wichita, Kansas and also in Dodge City, Kansas. Earp was also deputy sheriff in Tombstone, Arizona where the O.K. Corral gunfight took place. Years later, Earp joined the Alaska Gold Rush and with a partner built and operated the Dexter Saloon in Nome.

39 Plant that yields a potent laxative : ALOE

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plants leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

55 Chinese zodiac animal of 2020 : RAT

The Chinese Zodiac is a scheme that relates each year to the attributes of a particular animal in a 12-year cycle. So, the Chinese Zodiac has one sign for each of twelve years, whereas the Western Zodiac has one sign for each of the twelve months.

56 Sch. whose newspaper is The Prospector (“Assayer of Student Opinion”) : UTEP

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) was founded in 1914 as the Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy. To this day, there is a mine shaft on the campus. The mascot of the school’s sports teams is Paydirt Pete, a prospector from the mining industry. The teams are also known as the UTEP Miners and Lady Miners.

60 Contrive : GIN UP

“To gin up” is slang meaning “to enliven, excite”. The term probably derives from the older “to ginger up”. Gingering up was the rather nasty practice of putting ginger up inside a horse to make it lively and move with a high tail.

63 Southern terminus of Amtrak’s Silver Meteor : MIAMI

The city of Miami in Florida takes its name from the nearby Miami River, which is itself named for the Mayaimi Native American people who lived around nearby Lake Okeechobee.

Amtrak is the name used commercially by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. “Amtrak” comes from a melding of the words “America” and “track”.

64 Words from an emcee : INTRO

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

Down

4 ___ Dhabi : ABU

Abu Dhabi is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.

7 High-voltage foe of Spider-Man : ELECTRO

Spider-Man is a creation of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and first appeared in comics in 1962. Spider-Man was a somewhat groundbreaking character in that his alter ego was a teenage high school student (Peter Parker), which marked the first time that a young person featured front and center as the superhero.

9 Something a sandal shows that a loafer doesn’t : TOENAIL

The loafer slip-on shoe dates back to 1939. “Loafer” was originally a brand name introduced by Fortnum and Mason’s store in London. The derivative term “penny loafer” arose in the late fifties or early sixties, although the exact etymology seems unclear.

10 Ending of four state capitals [Can you name them all?] : … CITY

The four state capital names that include the word “City” are:

  • Jefferson City, Missouri
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Carson City, Nevada
  • Salt Lake City, Utah

12 Hot food? : BEEFCAKE

It’s not really clear how the word “cheesecake” came to be used for a provocative picture of a woman. It is known that the term arose in the 1930s, and originally applied to the covers of pulp magazines that used the images of the attractive young females to attract a largely male audience. One theory is that during the depression years, the luscious cheesecake dessert was unattainable, as were the “luscious” models depicted on the magazine covers. The male equivalent of “cheesecake” is “beefcake”.

34 What MoMA knows best? : ART

The founding of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City was very much driven by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, wife of John D. Rockefeller. Working with two friends, Abby managed to get the museum opened in 1929, just nine days after the Wall Street Crash. The MoMA’s sculpture garden bears the name of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and has done so since 1949.

36 Actor Mahershala : ALI

Mahershala Ali is an actor and sometime rapper. Among the more memorable roles Ali has had are lobbyist Remy Danton in TV’s “House of Cards”, and Colonel Boggs in “The Hunger Games” series of movies. He also won Best Supporting Actor Oscars for playing Juan in the 2016 drama “Moonlight”, and Dr. Don Shirley in 2018’s “Green Book”.

38 Alternatives to Nikes : PUMAS

Puma is a German company that sells athletic shoes worldwide. The company is most famous for its line of soccer boots.

39 Jackson 5 dos : AFROS

The Jackson 5 singing group was originally made up of brothers Tito, Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael. The four eldest brothers continued to perform, using the name “The Jacksons”, after Michael went solo.

42 Mix of red and blue : MAGENTA

The colors fuchsia and magenta are identical when used on the Web. The name “magenta” comes from an aniline dye that was patented in 1859 in France and called “fuchsine”. The dye was renamed in honor of a victory against the Austrians in the Battle of Magenta of 1859, which was fought near the northern Italian town of Magenta.

44 Genius Grant recipients, e.g. : FELLOWS

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation awards a MacArthur Fellowship to 20-30 individuals annually who show extraordinary originality and dedication in their field. The amount of the prize is $625,000, and it can be awarded in any field and has “no strings attached”. The MacArthur Fellowship is sometimes referred to as the “Genius Grant”.

46 Gender-neutral neologism added to Merriam-Webster in 2018 : LATINX

“Latinx” is a gender-neutral term that can be used in place of “Latino” and “Latina”. It is a neologism that was started to first appear online around 2004.

50 Singer Grande : ARIANA

Ariana Grande is a singer and actress from Boca Raton, Florida. Grande plays the role of Cat Valentine on the sitcom “Victorious” that aired for four season on Nickelodeon. Grande’s singing career took off with the release of the 2011 album “Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show”.

51 Portmanteau coinage for a queer-identified e-sports player, say : GAYMER

A portmanteau was a large suitcase, one that could be taken apart into two separate pieces. The word “portmanteau” is French for a “travelling bag”, from “porter” (to carry) and “manteau” (a coat, cloak). We also use “portmanteau” to mean a word that has been melded together from two parts (just as the suitcase comprised two parts). This usage was introduced to the world by Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. He explained to Alice that the nonsense words in the “Jabberwocky” poem were actually portmanteau words. For example “slithy” comes from “slimy” and “lithe”.

57 Knit and ___ : PURL

As all of us knitters know, the purl stitch and knit stitch are very similar, one being sort of the inverse of the other. Yes, I’ve knitted a few sweaters in my day …

61 “The Raven” poet : POE

“The Raven” is a narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe that tells of a student who has lost the love of his life, Lenore. A raven enters the student’s bedchamber and perches on a bust of Pallas. The raven can talk, to the student’s surprise, but says nothing but the word “nevermore” (“quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’”). As the student questions all aspects of his life, the raven taunts him with the same comment, “nevermore”. Finally, the student decides that his soul is trapped beneath the raven’s shadow and shall be lifted “nevermore”.

es” class=”bordered_link”>

Read on, or …
… return to top of page

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Ingredient in many a sandie cookie : PECAN
6 Stick in the oven : HEAT
10 Hooded snake : COBRA
15 Part of the Dutch Caribbean : ARUBA
16 Voice above tenor : ALTO
17 Brainstormers’ flurry : IDEAS
18 Relent : LET UP
19 Lead-in to prompter : TELE-
20 They’re on their second decade : TEENS
21 Singer Ella with the 2018 Grammy-winning R&B hit “Boo’d Up” : MAI
22 Hot food? : EYE CANDY
25 Reason for seasonal shots : FLU
26 Biblical garden : EDEN
28 Bad way to be led : ASTRAY
29 Fake I.R.S. call, e.g. : SCAM
30 Takeback of a car, for short : REPO
31 “Georgie ___” (nursery rhyme) : PORGIE
32 Sticky roll : TAPE
33 Costa ___ : RICA
35 Word repeatedly sung before “Born is the king of Israel” : NOEL
36 Torah holders : ARKS
37 TV gunslinger Wynonna, supposed descendant of Wyatt : EARP
39 Plant that yields a potent laxative : ALOE
40 Hot food? : STUDMUFFIN
45 Bo-o-oring : BLAH
48 Less amiable : MEANER
49 Jokes : GAGS
53 It makes a rowboat go : OAR
54 “Heavenly” man’s name : ANGELO
55 Chinese zodiac animal of 2020 : RAT
56 Sch. whose newspaper is The Prospector (“Assayer of Student Opinion”) : UTEP
58 Incredible deals : STEALS
59 Chipper greeting : HIYA
60 Contrive : GIN UP
62 A fan of : INTO
63 Southern terminus of Amtrak’s Silver Meteor : MIAMI
64 Words from an emcee : INTRO
65 Just sit there being mad : STEW
66 Word before peace or child : INNER …
67 One who can never go home again : EXILE
68 Sunbathes : TANS
69 Critics’ assignments : STARS

Down

1 Apt surname for a close-up magician? : PALMER
2 Literary convenience : E-READER
3 Hot food? : CUTIE PIE
4 ___ Dhabi : ABU
5 Back of one’s neck : NAPE
6 Criticizes venomously : HATES ON
7 High-voltage foe of Spider-Man : ELECTRO
8 On the loose : AT LARGE
9 Something a sandal shows that a loafer doesn’t : TOENAIL
10 Ending of four state capitals [Can you name them all?] : … CITY
11 Reverent poem : ODE
12 Hot food? : BEEFCAKE
13 Practiced at the track : RAN LAPS
14 Make an ass out of u and me, as they say : ASSUME
23 Dog’s protestation : YAP
24 Requirement for pink hair : DYE
27 Credit card-only, say : NO-CASH
29 Muscly : STRONG
34 What MoMA knows best? : ART
36 Actor Mahershala : ALI
38 Alternatives to Nikes : PUMAS
39 Jackson 5 dos : AFROS
41 One with an opening to fill? : DENTIST
42 Mix of red and blue : MAGENTA
43 Like leftovers, for now : UNEATEN
44 Genius Grant recipients, e.g. : FELLOWS
45 Concerned with wealth, possessions and respectability, in modern lingo : BOUGIE
46 Gender-neutral neologism added to Merriam-Webster in 2018 : LATINX
47 “That’s true about me, right?” : AREN’T I?
50 Singer Grande : ARIANA
51 Portmanteau coinage for a queer-identified e-sports player, say : GAYMER
52 Alternative to an elevator : STAIRS
57 Knit and ___ : PURL
59 Bit of help in an escape room : HINT
61 “The Raven” poet : POE
63 Prefix with judge or trial : MIS-

9 thoughts on “0311-20 NY Times Crossword 11 Mar 20, Wednesday”

  1. 11:03, no errors. Not so long ago, I’d have been mystified by “LATINX” but, since then, I’ve come across it in a number of places (the first one of which was another crossword puzzle).

  2. 13:01. Not too bad considering the setter. I’ve lived in Missouri and Nevada so I’m half way there on the CITY’S capitals…

  3. 21:15 no errors…see Mr Agard you can construct a puzzle without teaming up with another setter…I knew you could do it.
    Stay safe everyone

  4. No errors but had to really work to get the all of the modernisms. Some people say that crossword puzzles are slanted to the baby boomers. Not when Eric Agard is around!

  5. Penny loafers have a strip cut with a design in which a coin can be inserted. People actually did that, but before my first pair came my way.

  6. No errors but that SW corner was a bit tough. LATINX and BOUGIE were new to me. Mr Agard carries quite a breadth of knowledge! Whew! I’m convinced if you know something about the constructor, you have a better sense of what to expect..

    Be safe!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.